No Mas Presents: Dock Ellis & The LSD No-No

From description, In celebration of the greatest athletic achievement by a man on a psychedelic journey, No Mas and artist James Blagden proudly present the animated tale of Dock Ellis’ legendary LSD no-hitter. In the past few years we’ve heard all too much about performance enhancing drugs from greenies to tetrahydrogestrinone, and not enough about performance inhibiting drugs. If our evaluation of the records of athletes like Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, Marion Jones, and Barry Bonds needs to be revised downwards with an asterisk, we submit that that Dock Ellis record deserves a giant exclamation point. Of the 263 no-hitters ever thrown in the Big Leagues, we can only guess how many were aided by steroids, but we can say without question that only one was ever thrown on acid.

Sadly, the great Dock Ellis died last December at 63. A year before, radio producers Donnell Alexander and Neille Ilel, had recorded an interview with Ellis in which the former Pirate right hander gave a moment by moment account of June 12, 1970, the day he no-hit the San Diego Padres. Alexander and Ilels original four minute piece appeared March 29, 2008 on NPRs Weekend America. When we stumbled across that piece this past June, Blagden and Isenberg were inspired to create a short animated film around the original audio.

Solar retinopathy from sun-gazing under the influence of LSD

Solar retinopathy is a condition that can result from focusing the eye(s) on the sun, and usually follows the independent viewing of a solar eclipse. It has also been reported after direct sun-gazing, in anti-aircraft lookouts (Flynn, 1942; Cordes, I944, I948), in military recruits hoping to obtain discharge from service (Ewald and Ritchey, I970), in hospitalized schizophrenic patients (Anaclerio and Wicker, I970), in individuals observing the sun as a religious ritual (Agarwal and Malik, I959), in sunbathers (MacFaul, I969; Ridgway, I967), in patients trying to blind themselves (Eigner, I966), and recently in patients under the influence of LSD (Ewald and Ritchey, 1970; Ewald, I971). Cases have also been reported following indirect or reflected sunlight injury, from water or desert sand (Rosen, 1948; Irvine, I945), and in patients undergoing “prolonged and unprotected exposure to the infra-red rays of the solar spectrum in the tropics” (Smith, I944). It has recently been suggested (Manchester and Manchester, 1972) that the temporary blindness of Saul of Tarsus may have been the result of solar retinopathy.
After a sun-gazing episode, patients complain of some or all of the following symptoms: decreased or foggy vision, central scotoma, metamorphopsia, chromatopsia, and headache.
The initial visual acuity after solar injury is usually 20/40 to 20/63, but may range from 20/20 to counting fingers. After approximately 6 months, the visual acuity is usually in the range of 20/20 to 20/40, although it has been reported as low as 20/400 (Rosen, I948). Patients who regain 20/20 vision often complain of permanent minute central scotomas (Flynn, ig60a; MacFaul, I969).
The initial ophthalmoscopic picture varies-from no change to marked macular oedema. Within I to 2 weeks, pigmentation in a mottled pattern replaces the oedema. Later, a hole in the fovea develops. Whether this is a true through-and-through hole in the retina is not known because no histopathological specimens have been available for study.
This paper describes two young patients who ingested lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and, while under its effect, gazed at the sun. Bilateral solar retinopathy resulted in each patient.

UCSC Grateful Dead Archive

The Grateful Dead Archive is made up of nearly a thousand boxes of documents and recordings as well as hundreds of objects, equipment, and framed art, all of which were created or collected by the members of this iconic band over the course of decades of making their music, touring, operating their business, and connecting with their fans. This archive, given to UC Santa Cruz by the Grateful Dead, is located in the University Library’s Special Collections & Archives, where archivists work to preserve, organize, and describe this and other archival collections to ensure these materials can be consulted by scholars, teachers, students, and fans.

UC Santa Cruz has also collaborated with the California Digital Library, the Internet Archive, and other partners to create the Grateful Dead Archive Online, where over 45,000 digitized items from the Grateful Dead Archive at UC Santa Cruz are shared alongside digital content submitted by the worldwide community of Grateful Dead fans.

The Owsley Stanley Foundation Archive

The Owsley Stanley Foundation is a 501c(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of “Bear’s Sonic Journals,” Owsley’s archive of more than 1,300 live concert soundboard recordings from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, including recordings by Miles Davis, Johnny Cash, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Fleetwood Mac, Janis Joplin, and more than 80 other artists across nearly every musical idiom. These analog reel-to-reel recordings are nearing the end of their expected shelf lives and will deteriorate and be lost forever if they are not preserved. The effort to preserve these historically vital recordings is estimated to cost between $300,000 – $400,000. All donations and proceeds from the development of the recordings flow back into the effort to preserve more of Bear’s Sonic Journals and perpetuate Owsley’s legacy, including patronage of the arts in all of its forms. Our staff is entirely comprised of volunteers, and many of the support services necessary to run the organization have been donated by generous contributors that believe in the mission to save this music before it is lost forever.

Treatment of Alcoholism Using Psychedelic Drugs: A Review of the Program of Research

Following Albert Hofmann’s discovery of LSD’s psychoactive properties in 1943, and previous to their scheduling as controlled substances, the psychedelic drugs were widely studied—six international conferences and hundreds of papers discussed their potential therapeutic usefulness. The observation that the frightening experience of delirium tremens sometimes led alcoholics to moderate their alcohol intake suggested to early psychedelic researchers that the “psychotomimetic” experience thought to be produced by LSD could be used to treat alcoholism. A number of hypothesis-generating studies employing a variety of research designs to examine this premise were completed, but relatively few controlled trials attempted hypothesis testing. After twenty-five years of study, a combination of flawed methodology, uneven results and social reprehension led to the abandonment of research on the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs, leaving many avenues of inquiry unexplored and many questions unanswered. Today, after a thirty-year hiatus, this research is gradually being resumed, and there is renewed interest in the findings of previous studies. This article explores the history of one branch of psychedelic research, the therapeutic use of LSD in the treatment of alcoholism, and of the events that led to the relabeling of the “hallucinogens” as drugs of abuse.


The following article by Jon Hanna from the Vernal Equinox 2006 issue of The Entheogen Review is an expose relating details about the 2006 public outing of John Halpern as a DEA snitch in the trial against William Leonard Pickard and Clyde Apperson, charging them with LSD production/distribution. As Halpern has also been a prominent MAPS-supported psychedelic researcher, MAPS founder Rick Doblin responds to Hanna’s article at the end of the piece, explaining his reasons for working with Halpern.

Bread of Heaven or Wines of Light: Entheogenic Legacies and Esoteric Cosmologies

This is an article in two parts. The first part discusses current research in psychoactive preparations of ergot in various religious systems with a particular emphasis on Persian, Greek, Jewish and Islamic sources. Certain poems, hadith, and scriptural writings suggest an entheogenic heritage to various ancient sects that exerted and received philosophical and ritual influences over large distances and over time. Particularly, some esoteric Shia and Sufi writings are highly suggestive of a “celestial botany” that employed psychoactive plants for initiatory and ritual purposes. The second part will address current research methods that render ergot alkaloids nontoxic and entheogenic, a most crucial part of the discussion in the absence of a modem bioassay. This is essential, as without a chemical reality to support that such a preparation of entheogenic ergot is possible, all ergot theories concerning mystery traditions would remain largely speculative.